Writer: Peter Simcox
Date:Friday November 2 2007
Rams head to Villa Park for big clash
The Rams head to Villa Park on Saturday in a crucial clash, and the Rams will have to do something they`ve not achieved all season, and that is to score a goal on their travels.
In fact they are the only team in the whole football league in England without an away goal, and Billy Davies hopes to end that on Saturday.
It`s not the only problems the Rams are facing to date with the Rams conceding the most goals in the premier league this season, but as they say you`re only as good as your last game, and the 0-0 draw at Fulham on their last away game was a good performance and they really should have won it.
The return of Giles Barnes is a great boost for the Rams, and they will hope Kenny Miller recovers from injury to take his place in the side.
The Rams last victory at Villa Park came in November 1988 when Dean Saunders and Paul Goddard netted in a 2-1 success for Arthur Cox's side.
It`s not been a happy hunting ground for the Rams since then losing the last six visits, but Davies will be hoping for more from his side and they will need to show a lot more than they dished out last weekend against Everton at Pride Park.
Villa currently sits in 10th spot on 15 points and they have won four of their six games at Villa Park. Their away form is letting them down at present they haven`t picked up a victory on their travels this season.
They have scored 13 league goals this season with Gabriel Agbonlahor the top scorer with four. The product of the Villa Youth team, Agbonlahor has pace and a keen eye for goal and he will need to watched closely on Saturday. Another striker the Rams will have to watch is John Carew, and at 6`5" he will be difficult to mark at set pieces however he is rated doubtful for the game though injury.
In midfield England international Gareth Barry and Shaun Maloney have formed a strong partnership together, Maloney weighing in with 3 goals this campaign. The battle between them and Matt Oakley and Stephen Pearson will go a long way to decide the result. Midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker is also available after suspension, as his keeper Scott Carson.
Villa`s last home games ended in a 1-4 lose to Manchester United, and last week they drew 1-1 with second bottom Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium, a goal from Luke Moore on the hour mark earning Martin O`Neill`s side a point.
A victory on Saturday could take the Rams up to 16th place on the table, and they will have another good following with nearly 3,000 tickets sold, the vital Derby prediction: - Villa 1 Derby 1
Date:Friday November 2 2007
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